Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb
Poor users left manually fiddling with thermostats, fumbling locks
Google's Nest went TITSUP* early this morning, causing headaches for users who have equipped their home with the expensive smart devices.
Owners of the kit were forced to manually adjust thermostats and unlock doors while the iOS, Android and web apps were inaccessible. The horror.
We've received reports from Nest Secure and Nest x Yale Lock customers who are unable to arm/disarm or lock/unlock via the Nest app. Physical controls aren't affected. We're currently investigating this issue and will provide more info when available.— Nest Support (@nestsupport) May 17, 2018
Nest's support orifice on Twitter confirmed there was an issue at 0430 BST after users reported being unable to operate alarms or locks via the app. It was a long three hours before the company confirmed that things were back up and running.
Update: this issue is now resolved--thanks for your patience. The Nest app should now be fully responsive, including being able to arm/disarm Nest Secure and lock/unlock the Nest x Yale Lock. If you're still having any issues, contact us by visiting https://t.co/mnq22BsNT5— Nest Support (@nestsupport) May 17, 2018
The outage affected multiple countries – users in the US, Canada and the Netherlands all reported problems.
Frustrated fans vented their spleen on social media, complaining the entire Nest app was down, resulting in other devices such as thermostats and cameras being inaccessible.
One wag on Reddit posted "QUICK ROB ALL THE THINGS" while another user on Twitter was more plaintive: "Everything is down. Can't watch my child fall asleep. Fix. This. Now."
The Register took a good, hard look at Nest's wares back in April and came away impressed, although with some concerns. A total failure of the Nest app can now be added to that list of worries.
The incident is a salutary reminder to consumers to exercise caution when going all-in on a particular ecosystem and highlights the fragility of the Internet of Things concept in general when things go wrong. In this instance users were able to fall back on the manual methods of unlocking doors, which they probably thought they had left behind in the brave new connected world.
El Reg has contacted Nest for an explanation for the outage, and will update with any response. ®
* Toasted Infrastructure Totally Stops Unlocking Properties